NATIONAL CADET SPECIAL ACTIVITIES

National Cadet Special Activities (NCSA) are Cadet Programs offered by Civil Air Patrol and typically take place during the summer.

NCSAs are designed to give cadets direct hands on experience with various aspects of the Civil Air Patrol program and provide meaningful insight into several aviation-related careers. There are usually more than thirty different special activities that a cadet may attend and they are each approximately one week long.


The variety of NCSAs offered by CAP gives cadets a diverse experience. Activities focus on career exploration, leadership development, search and rescue skills, aeronautical training, Air Force familiarization, government, and a variety of other topics.

The list presented below is not a complete list of activities. See the official CAP page for more information.

CADET OFFICER SCHOOL

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, ALABAMA

Patterned after the USAF Squadron Officer School, COS is the premier leadership laboratory of the CAP Cadet Program. Cadets selected for this school are identified as demonstrating the qualities of leadership CAP needs to ensure the success of the organization in the future.

Featuring cadets drawn from the top 15% in the country, and similar cadets from the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and the British Air Training Corps, COS provides cadets with a unique opportunity for in-depth study on topics including:

• The mission of CAP
• United States Air Force
• The history of airpower
• Leadership
• Problem solving
• Effective writing
• Public speaking
• Group dynamics

In addition to classes and seminars, a wide variety of top military and industry leaders are featured as guest speakers to discuss their experiences. Topics typically include human relations, critical thinking, leadership, and national security issues.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 16 by the activity start date
* Must be younger than 21 be the end of the activity
* Must not have previously attended COS
* Must have earned the Mitchell Award

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CIVIC LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

WASHINGTON, DC

The goal of the Civil Leadership Academy is to foster cadet officers civic growth by increasing their

(1) Leadership skills
(2) Sense of civic responsibility
(3) Interest in the democratic process

If you’re interested in politics and/or careers in public service this 1-week program is for you. Cadets participate in behind-the-scenes tours and briefings at the Capitol, Supreme Court, State Department, Pentagon, CIA, Arlington National Cemetery, and more.

CLA is an academically-focused activity that includes seminars, readings, and group projects. The week culminates with Legislative Day, when cadets meet their elected leaders on Capitol Hill.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 16 by the activity start date
* Must have PT status of Category I – Unrestricted
* Must have earned the Mitchell Award

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PARARESCUE & SURVIVAL ORIENTATION COURSE

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA

This activity is designed to introduce cadets to some of the skills and requirements of Pararescuemen (PJ’s), Combat Rescue Officers (CRO’s), and Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) Specialists. During PJOC cadets will gain experience and training in land navigation, survival techniques, rock climbing, rappelling and other various skills used in rescue operations.

PJOC is an introduction to the mission of the Guardian Angel Weapon System (GA), a non-aircraft, equipment-based weapon system of the United States Air Force. GA is organized into nine specific capabilities: Prepare, Mission Plan, Insert, Movement, Actions on Objective, Medically Treat, Extract, Reintegrate, and Adapt.

Cadet requirements:

* Must be at least age 15 by the activity start date
* Must have encampment credit at application
* Must have PT status of Category I – Unrestricted
* Must pass PJOC PT Evaluation

This course is also offered as a PJOC Advanced course at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

Cadet requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 16 by the activity start date
* Must have PJOC credit at the time of application
* Must have PT status of Category I – Unrestricted
* Must pass PJOC swim test

NOTE: PJOC is considered a very physically strenuous activity performed in harsh environmental conditions. Cadets not able to pass the PT Evaluation on day one will be excused from the course. Cadets are often excused from this course.

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CIVIL ENGINEERING ACADEMY

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA

This activity gives cadets a chance to learn about a career path in the USAF in the field of civil engineering. Cadets in this activity will receive a combination of classroom instruction as well as hands-on activities. They will learn such disciplines as heavy equipment management, map making, explosive ordnance disposal, emergency management, water purification, and runway lighting, among others.

Cadet requirements:

* Must be at least age 15 by the activity start date
* Must have encampment credit at application
* Must have the rank of C/SrA or higher

SPACE COMMAND FAMILIARIZATION COURSE

PETSRSON AIR FORCE BASE, COLORADO

Since 1994, Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) has sponsored two CAP special activities, one in Colorado and one in Florida, to showcase AFSPC roles and missions to CAP cadets.

The purpose of the AFSPC program is to expose cadets to the ideals of leadership and service through aerospace education and training. Attendees are CAP cadets who are interested in aerospace careers and/or military service.

The course at Peterson AFB in Colorado seeks to introduce cadets to all five areas of space operations:

• satellite command and control
• missile warning
• space surveillance / space control
• missile operations
• spacelift

Cadets learn these topics while visiting the three Air Force bases in the area, Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Lockheed-Martin, as well as the US Air Force Academy, where cadets learn about education opportunities in aerospace engineering.

The course at Patrick AFB in Florida will experience behind-the-scenes tours and briefings on the various aspects of America’s missions and roles in space. Cadets will meet with the talented members of the 45th Space Wing and NASA, supporting the exciting business of space launch and exploration.

Cadets learn those topics while they also may have the opportunity to visit the Morrell Operations Center, tour historical launch sites from the Mercury and Apollo programs, and visit Kennedy Space Center.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 15 by the activity start date
* Must have encampment credit at application
* Must be a U.S. citizen
* Must have earned the Wright Brothers Award

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SPECIALIZED UNDERGRADUATE PILOT TRAINING

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS

This course is designed to provide CAP cadets with a realistic view of USAF SUPT. In one week’s time the cadets will experience much of what a perspective USAF pilot-candidate experiences over their 52-weeks of training.

Some of the common subject areas include:

• Classroom academics
• Flight Line interaction
• Shadowing of student-pilots
• Hands-on training with USAF instructors
• Simulated flight training
• Flight in USAF T-1 aircraft
• Interactions with various career fields

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 15 by the activity start date
* Must have encampment credit at application

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CYBER DEFENSE TRAINING ACADEMY

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS

This course is an introduction into cyberspace operations conducted by the US Air Force. Members from various units within the 24th Air Force will brief cadets on their roles as a “Cyberspace Operator”. The cadets will also receive an introduction into Defensive Cyberspace Operations which include:

• Introduction into Networks and Operating Systems
• Workstation and Server Fundamentals
• How to Secure a System and Mitigate Threats

The course concludes with a capstone activity called Cyber Defense Competition where cadets will be ordered to secure a network of workstations from possible security breaches.

The goal of this course is to prepare cadets to effectively participate in competitions like CyberPatriot and the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. This course seeks to usher in a new era of “Cyber Operators” not to train “hackers”.

This course is also available as an Advanced Course for those who have previously graduated.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be in 8th grade of higher
* Must have earned the Wright Brothers Award
* Must have encampment credit at application
* Must be a U.S. citizen

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AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE & MANUFACTURING ACADEMY

CESSNA AIRCRAFT COMPANY, KANSAS

Ever wonder how aircraft are built? Or how manufacturers and airlines handle normal and unexpected maintenance problems? Does spending a week with the Cessna Aircraft Company doing hands-on manufacturing work seem right for you

During this academy you will have access to the manufacturing floor, and will assist Cessna professionals in fabricating, assembling, and checking-out Cessna airplanes. You will receive training and you will get your hands dirty building both jet and single engine propeller-driven aircraft on the production line.

If you are interested in a career in the general aviation industry, or are an aspiring pilot or airframe and powerplant (A&P) who wants to know how your aircraft is built, this is the activity for you.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 17 by the activity start date
* Must have encampment credit at application

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ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGIES ACADEMY

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY

At MTSU, a major comprehensive institution just outside of Nashville, you’ll be introduced to several aerospace and engineering disciplines by completing hands-on projects and learning from professors whose work has garnered national and world-wide notice.

The MTSU Aerospace faculty represents a broad range of experience and education. Most faculty are pilots in addition to having a field of specialization.

Do you want to pursue a career in engineering technology? Are you considering becoming an engineer, but you’re unsure of your aptitude, or even what engineers do? If that sounds like you then you should attend E-Tech.

During your visit you will sample:

• Unmanned aircraft systems orientation
• Pilot training orientation
• Aerospace technology orientation
• Mechatronics engineering
• Experimental Vehicles Program

MTSU’s Aerospace Department has 15 full-time faculty members, 35 flight instructors, and over 700 majors, which places it among the largest of the nation’s collegiate aviation programs.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must have encampment credit at application
* Must be at least age 15 by the activity start date
* Must have earned the Wright Brothers Award

NATIONAL FLIGHT ACADEMY

OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN
MATTOON, ILLINOIS
CAMDEN, SOUTH CAROLINA
JOINT BASE MDL, NEW JERSEY
MANKATO, MINNESOTA
FREMONT, NEBRASKA
BANGOR, MAINE
SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA
NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS
WEST JORDAN, UTAH

Do you want to take the first steps in becoming a pilot? At this academy aspiring pilots receive formal ground instruction and cockpit time with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) with the goal of getting 10 hours of hands-on flight time learning the basics of flying a powered aircraft (Cessna 172).

Cadets in this activity will typically receive their 10 hours of flight while also flying as an observer when another cadet receives instruction. Cadets will also receive 25 hours of ground instruction. Qualified cadets can even have the chance to take their first solo at the academy!

Please note that flight time is dependent on weather and other factors.

This learning environment is specially designed for cadets, and the low instructor to student ratio provides opportunities for mentoring and individual attention.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 14 by the activity start date
* Must have encampment credit at application
* Must have a current FAA Student Pilot Certificate
* Must have a government-issued ID card
* Must be able to provide proof of citizenship
* Must have a pilot logbook
* Must have a current Aircraft Handling certificate
* Must have Intermediate ORM certificate
* If 18 or older, must have completed the CPPT course

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NATIONAL GLIDER FLIGHT ACADEMY

CLEAR AIR STATION, ALASKA
MATTOON, ILLINOIS
FREDERICKSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA
SPRINGFIELD, VERMONT
TULLAHOMA, TENNESSEE
WALLER, TEXAS

Do you want to take the first step in becoming a pilot? This is a step in the right direction. Aspiring pilots receive formal ground instruction and cockpit time with a certified flight instructor.

Cadets in glider flight academies receive hands-on flight time learning the basics of flying a glider aircraft, ground instruction, and the opportunity to work the flight line doing launch and recovery operations.

At this academy, all the basic to advanced skills and ground instruction leading toward your private glider rating are included. The learning environment is specially designed for cadets, and the low instructor to student ratio provides opportunities for mentoring and individual attention. Many cadets participating in a NFA even solo at the academy!

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 14 by the activity start date
* Must have encampment credit at application
* Must have a current FAA Student Pilot Certificate
* Must have a government-issued ID card
* Must be able to provide proof of citizenship

Note: The Clear Air Force Station activity is generally only available for cadets in AKWG and those in Far East overseas units.

CADET AVIATION GROUND SCHOOL

McGHEE-TYSON ANG BASE, TENNESSEE

This school uses materials based on Section 61.105 of the FAA regulation to prepare students to take the FAA Private Pilot Written Exam.

This is not a summer encampment but an intense academic experience, led by instructors who are high-time current and former commercial and military pilots.

With the endorsement earned at this school student will be able to take the exam when they return home.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 15 by the activity start date

NOTE: The FAA does not issue Student Pilot Certificates to anyone under the age of 16.

MODEL AIRCRAFT & REMOTE CONTROL FLIGHT ACADEMY

CADET TRAINING CENTER, OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN

Do you want to take the first step in becoming a model aircraft remote control (R/C) pilot? Or are you already flying R/C and want to become a better pilot?

Cadets will receive formal AMA ground instruction and will fly aircraft with an AMA instructor/pilot. Ready cadets will be able to solo and move on to low-wing taildragger aircraft.

With a low 6:1 instructor to student ratio the academy offers a great learning environment for cadets. In addition to flying cadets will participate in aircraft damage repair.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 12 by the activity start date
* Must have earned the Curry Award
* Must have encampment credit
* Must have a current-year AMA membership card

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HAWK MOUNTAIN SEARCH & RESCUE SCHOOL

KEMPTON, PENNSYLVANIA

HMRS has a proud history of providing outstanding SAR and emergency services training. Courses offered include:

• Basic Ranger Course
• Senior Basic Ranger Course
• Advanced Ranger Course
• Aircrew Survival Course
• Field Medic Course
• Field Communications Course
• Ranger Staff Training
• Team Commanders Course
• Incident Leadership Course

The school is conducted outdoors in the mountains of Pennsylvania under mission field conditions and is very physically demanding.

Curriculum includes:

• Navigation
• Search techniques and equipment
• Communication skills
• Woodsmanship
• Campsite selection and equipment
• First Aid
• Patient evacuation
• Health, nutrition, and survival skills

Please note that some of these courses are available only to senior members of CAP. See CAP Ranger for more information.

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NATIONAL EMERGENCY SERVICES ACADEMY

CAMP ATTERBURY, INDIANA

NESA is designed to help meet the emergency services mission of Civil Air Patrol by providing better trained and qualified personnel to support CAP’s operational missions. Class offered include:

• Ground Search & Rescue School
• Mission Aircrew School
• Incident Command System School

See NESA more information.

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LONE STAR EMERGENCY SERVICES ACADEMY

HQ TEXAS WING, NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS

This course offers a week of intensive training that prepares members for participation in CAP Emergency Services and allows cadets to work with non-CAP emergency management professionals with an eye toward career preparation.

Training will be used to increase the number of qualified Mission Aircrew, Mission Staff, Mission Support Staff, Ground Team Members (GTM) both level 3 and 2, and advanced skills for GTM 1 and Ground Team Leaders (GTL).

A Medical Orientation Training School will be offered to train members as First Responders. The communications school will focus on training on the use of the various CAP radios and frequencies.

Curriculum includes training from CAP National Emergency Services Academy, NASAR, and military medic training.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must have encampment credit at application
* Must be at least age 14 by the activity start date
* Must be GES qualified
* Must be grade C/SrA or above
* Must have PT status of Category I – Unrestricted
* Must have a complete 72-hour pack

See the activity websites for LESA and LESA-South for more information.

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MICHIGAN WING SEARCH & RESCUE ACADEMY

CAMP GRAYLING, MICHIGAN

MIWG SAR is conducted in a safe environment with highly trained and experienced cadet and senior staff. Students will gain hands-on experience in land navigation with a map and compass, search line operations, direction finding, crash scene procedures, survival skills, First Aid and CPR, and teamwork.The academy concludes with a three day field training exercise (FTX) which simulates an actual search and rescue mission.

The skills learned at the academy will not only benefit you in CAP but also throughout your life. Skills include:

• Communication
• Leadership
• Teamwork
• Critical thinking
• Problem solving
• Personal and team confidence
• Combating fear and anxiety

Courses are offered as a basic course, advanced course, and medic course. See SAR Academy for more information.

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NATIONAL BLUE BERET

OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN

NBB is held for two weeks every year in July-August in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in support of the EAA AirVenture fly-in. During the event, Wittman Field is temporarily the busiest civilian airport in the world with more than 20,000 aircraft and 500,000 people in attendance.

While other NCSA’s offered by CAP specialize in ground team activities, NBB offers training in ground team as well as flight line marshalling, mission radio operating, and urban direction finding.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must have encampment credit at application
* Must be at least age 16 by the activity start date

HONOR GUARD ACADEMY

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, VIRGINIA

The objective of this academy is to provide leadership training to cadets that will enable them to implement the Honor Guard program within their individual wings and units. The Honor Guard program contributes to CAP by providing a highly visible public relations program. It allows cadets to become Ambassadors for CAP and assist with recruiting, retention, and the Drug Demand Reduction Program.

The academy will provide training in four Honor Guard elements:

• The Color Guard and Colors Element
• The Ceremonial Element
• The Funeral Element
• The Flag Element

Advanced training flights and staff positions are offered for cadets who have attended for more than one year.

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must have encampment credit at application

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INTERNATIONAL AIR CADET EXCHANGE

WORLDWIDE

Each summer, hundreds of cadets from eighteen nations come together to broaden their understanding of aviation and foreign cultures through IACE.

IACE provides cadets with the opportunity to meet people from around the world who share the Exchange’s goal of promoting goodwill and fellowship through the common interest of aviation, while learning how your host country contributes to the aviation community.

Although participating countries can vary, cadets have been able to travel to countries like:

• Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Korea
• Canada
• France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom
• Israel

Cadet Requirements:

* Must be active CAP member in good standing
* Must be at least age 17 by the activity start date
* Must be younger than 21 by August 2
* Must not have previously attended IACE
* Must have earned the Earhart Award
* Must hold or be eligible for a US Passport

See the IACEA for more information.

VISIT THE NCSA WEBSITE FOR ALL THE CURRENT INFORMATION